Mealtime Mama: Cute treats for your Halloween or fall party

By Shannon Magsam

OK, mamas, this is a repeat post from last year. But it’s a fun one with several good ideas for fall food. Hope you enjoy:

The month of October is perfect for a party because of all the fun fall treats and the weather is just right for being outside.

I thought I’d share a few of the treats from our recent house party in case you want to use them at a gathering you’re having this month. Let’s start with the caramel apple bar, which I plan to do again on Halloween night for friends and new neighbors who stop over while trick-or-treating here. This was my 13-year-old daughter’s idea and it was a hit with our guests.

The Caramel Apple Bar is not a cookie, it’s this:

caramel apple bar, use this

You just grab some sliced apples (I cheated and bought them pre-cut), some caramel (you can make your own or buy) and then come up with all kinds of toppings that would taste great on a caramel apple. We had coconut, M&Ms, sprinkles and Skittles. There are tons of possibilities! I wish we’d added a spoon into the caramel (which is in the spider container in the above pic) because some friends just wanted to drizzle caramel over their apples.

Up next, MUMMIES!

Mummies, use thisThese were my teenager’s idea, too, and she made them. We realized after the fact that we should have used double-stuffed Oreos. To make them, just use icing to scribble the mummy faces and add edible eyes. If you use the larger Oreos, you can place a candy stick into each for a lollipop effect. Ours didn’t have enough stuffing for the stick, but I think they turned out cute anyway ;)

Our {Frightful} Fall Kettle Corn was also a big hit:

Frightful Fall Kettle Corn

We also cheated a little on this by buying bags of kettle corn to pop. So you just pop your kettle corn, pour it into a big bowl and add your favorite candies. We used mini chocolate chips, pretzels, M&Ms and candy corn (which makes it so cute!). After you gently mix the popcorn and candy together, drizzle melted chocolate over the top. We used decadent Ghirardelli dark melting wafers. YUM.

Those were the sweet treats. We also had chili (my husband’s special recipe) with all the fixin’s plus a few of my favorite appetizers. It was a fun party and the food prep turned out to be a great bonding experience with my teenager. Of course, as soon as we got finished cooking, my daughter went back to her regularly-scheduled Instagramming. It was good while it lasted.

Hope this inspires you to invite a few of your friends over for a fall get-together!

Mealtime Mama: Fresh strawberry pie for the Fourth of July!

Mealtime-mama1

Happy Fourth of July! This pie is sure to please.

If you’ve got pick-your-own strawberries (or if you picked some up from the store!), below a great pie recipe that our friend Kathleen Villar shared after she and her two kids visited McGarrah’s a few weeks ago. (Kathleen gives full credit to her friend Pam Lewis for the recipe.)

We couldn’t resist using a few of the pics from the Villars’ day at the farm, too! Those kids are so cute.

Strawberry Pie

Kathleen, berriesIngredients:

3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups sugar (It is a SWEET dessert, you might want to reduce the sugar. I used just 1 cup.)
1 1/2 cups water
3 oz box strawberry Jell-O
2 cups sliced strawberries (If the berries are small, it may take a little more. I just filled the pie crust.)

Directions:

  • Pre-bake a 10″ pie shell. (I used a pre-made graham cracker crust. They have pre-made shortbread too!)
  • Line bottom with the sliced strawberries
  • Combine cornstarch, sugar and water in small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add the Jell-O and stir until dissolved. Pour over the strawberries (I didn’t use it all) and refrigerate until set.
  • Serve with whipped cream.

Kathleen's kids, berriesNote from the mamas: This post originally published on nwaMotherlode.com in June 2014. There are three little Villars now!

Summer-Remix4

Mealtime Mama: Easy Banana Pudding

I’ll be the first to admit that I am NOT a good cook. But when I make my Great Aunt Eunice’s banana pudding, people think I’m a good cook. But all the credit goes to her recipe. It’s easy, and the results are SO good.

bananas minionThis is my go-to dessert to take to potluck dinners, church events, teacher luncheons, etc. If you have some vanilla wafers and ripe bananas in your kitchen, I’m betting you already have the rest of the ingredients you’ll need.

Hope you love it!

Banana Pudding

Ingredients

  • 5 eggs (separated; only use yolks)
  • 1 heaping cup of sugar (but less than 1 1/4 cup)
  • 4 large heaping tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups homogenized milk (We use 2% milk.)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 stick of butter

Directions

Mix sugar and flour together. Add milk and beaten egg yolks.

jackson vanilla wafers2Cook until thick over low heat, stirring constantly.

Take off heat and add 1/2 stick of butter and 1 tablespoon of vanilla.

Mix well and cool a little, then pour over about 3/4 package of Jackson vanilla wafers and 6 large bananas that have been sliced and mixed in with the cookies.

This recipe makes a large bowl of banana pudding, and we love it best when it’s still warm. Yum!

Enjoy!

 

Mealtime Mama: Homemade candy bar recipe!

mealtime

Our mother-in-residence, Wanda, just shared a recipe with us that we couldn’t wait to share with you. It’s a HOMEMADE candy bar recipe and it sounds delicious.

Wanda’s neighbor gave her the recipe, so we’re just passing it around to all our friends and neighbors, too.

Here’s what you’ll need:

waverly crackers8 ounces of buttery crackers (like Waverly or Club)

1 cup butter (or margarine, if you must)

1/2 cup of milk

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

1/2 cup butterscotch chips

How to make the candy:

Place about 25 crackers in the bottom of an ungreased cake pan. Meanwhile, over medium-high heat, melt the butter, then add: milk, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and plain sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, and stir continuously, for about five minutes. Pour half the mixture over the crackers in the cake pan, making sure it covers all crackers. Place about 25 more crackers on top of that.

Now, melt your peanut butter and milk chocolate/butterscotch chips in a saucepan over medium heat and spread the melted mixture over your second layer of crackers. Chill the whole pan for about an hour and then cut into squares and enjoy!

Mealtime Mama: Jump into spring with this bunny cake!

easter hare and eggs, recipe

I know it’s a little early, but I saw this adorable Easter bunny cake on the Kraft website and wanted to share!

I have a very fond memory of my mom making a cake almost exactly like this and bringing it to my first-grade spring party. She looked so pretty and so did the cake — and all my classmates thought the bunny was adorable!

What You’ll Need:

2 baked 9-inch round white cake layers, cooled

1 tub  (8 oz.) Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed

1 pkg. (7 oz.) Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut

Suggested for decorations:

Licorice, gumdrops, jelly beans

How to Make It:

Leave 1 cake whole. Use a serrated knife to cut the remaining cake into 3 pieces as shown in the video. Arrange on large foil-covered board or platter to resemble a bunny’s head and bow tie, using small amount of cool whip to attach pieces to each other.

Frost the cake with remaining Cool Whip.

Sprinkle with coconut. Decorate with remaining ingredients as shown in photo. Keep refrigerated.

Do you make a cute bunny cake for Easter? Or do you have another recipe that’s your go-to every year? We’d love to share it with other moms on Motherlode if you’d like to send it over! Email us at mamas@nwaMotherlode.com.